Pay-as-you-go energy customers won't be disconnected over winter – Taoiseach

Micheal Martin said the Government was engaging with suppliers on the issue.
Pay-as-you-go energy customers won't be disconnected over winter – Taoiseach

By David Young, PA

The Government will not allow people on pay-as-you-go energy meters to be disconnected over the winter, the Taoiseach has said.

Micheál Martin also said he did not believe Ireland would experience power blackouts this winter, although he could not guarantee it.

Mr Martin said the Government was working to procure more energy as he warned that next winter could be more challenging when it came to maintaining supply.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin
Taoiseach Micheal Martin said he did not believe Ireland would experience power blackouts over winter (Niall Carson/PA)

The Government has introduced a series of measures to mitigate the impact of soaring costs, including a €600 electricity credit for households.

On Sunday, the Taoiseach was asked about the prospect of those customers who pre-pay for electric being cut off if they cannot afford to buy more credit.

Mr Martin said the Government was engaging with suppliers on the issue. He insisted people who found themselves in such situations would be helped by the social welfare system.

 

“We don’t want people disconnected, particularly vulnerable people and people who will find difficulty in terms of raising their bills,” he told RTE.

He added: “Through our social welfare system, we will underpin and help people in terms of meeting their bills.

“In the middle of an energy crisis of this kind, we cannot have disconnections.”

On the possibility of blackouts this winter, Mr Martin said: “I would hope not, but we can never be certain in relation to that.

 

“And we are taking measures in terms of energy procurement and in terms of extending the timelines for various plants in the country.

“We should be OK this winter, but then one can never guarantee.

“Next winter will be challenging, and that’s why we’re doing everything we can to procure additional gas generation and the following year.

“That’s why we have to accelerate the planning and permitting system around wind energy. We simply have to do that, get more wind energy online.”

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